Sunday, October 31, 2010

Felted Purse Project Planning Step One

Since money is tight in our household like in many others I have got to work with what I already have on hand or what I can acquire without too large an investment. Now that may seem very restrictive creatively but I find it is not. First I have lots and lots of material on hand. I am always finding things I had purchased to use and have no idea what I intended them for in the first place but they turn out to be perfect for what I am working on now.

Working with what you have actually can be challenging but it forces you to focus on what is in front of you. I think we often miss the potential of things we have on hand. Newer is more exciting but odds are if you have acquired a major stash like mine newer will turn into yesterday’s news before it gets used. I still have fabric from when I was quilting in the 70’s. Good thing it is coming back into fashion.

For the felt purses I have discovered that you can actually even get thriftier than just going to a thrift shop. We have thrift stores in this area that have days the clothes are half off or more. So I shop on the best days for the nicest sweaters I can find.

So when I start a project I gather up all the items I might use in it and lay them out on the table. I have the lining fabrics the body fabric the trim and possible button closures all laid out.

I had already decided to turn one of my new brown sweaters into a purse with an autumn leaf design. So this is the first setup:

I narrowed it down to two different lining fabrics and the fibers and buttons I liked best but I was actually unhappy with the base sweater itself. I had chosen that brown because it reminded me of foggy fall mornings in New Hampshire but it just wasn’t clicking with the design of this purse.

This is my new layout:

As you can see I went with the darker richer chocolate brown sweater. I am leaning toward the bold print because the purse is going to have a simple button closure so the lining will show more than if it had a flap closure. If the flashier button does not take away from the leaf design I will be using that. We shall see when it is done.

Tonight and tomorrow I will do the sketches and decide on how I will cut the pattern for this sweater. The handle is going to be made of the purse base material and the purse will have a soft round bottom. I plan to keep it simple and soft in design.

I will post the sketches in a day or two as well as step by step photos as I make the purse.

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